The birds are singing sweet tunes in the Brooklyn Nets’ world now that they’ve finally defeated the bully that was the Miami Heat. But if they somehow have a huge letdown when they visit the Sunshine State’s other team tomorrow night, the Orlando Magic, those songs will quickly change into the sound of a NASCAR pileup.
Each of the four best Eastern Conference teams, the Heat, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Nets must approach every game this season with an NFL-like mentality. Everyone is dying to come out of the regular season with that No. 1 seed after Indiana got demolished in Game 7 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals in Miami.
Losing games to much inferior opponents will come back to bite any of these elite teams at the end of the season, and there’s no doubt that the 1-2 Magic easily fall into that category. Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Arron Afflalo are like grandpas when compared to the rest of their teammates.
With that youth majority, there’s no excuse for the Nets to fall to the Magic tomorrow. They must put the Heat win far behind them and give the Magic a respectable effort if they want to avoid the disaster of losing to a team that’s projected to be in the running for next year’s No. 1 draft pick.
Losses will happen for the Nets along the way no matter what, but they’ll be kicking themselves in the head if they lose out on that No. 1 playoff seed by a game and they remember at the end of the season that they lost to one of the youngest teams in the league.
This game won’t be as big of a matchup as the Heat game, but its significance isn’t miniscule.